Macquarie Dictionary


Anyone from the North Island?

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

This week, our word is the North Island. Most people, especially New Zealanders, would be familiar with this term to describe the North Island of New Zealand. But, in Australia, particularly in Tasmania, this is an ironic nickname for the Australian mainland.

We received a couple of examples during our Australian Word Map project, one of which explains:

A Tasmanian shopkeeper’s reply to me when I said I was from Melbourne: ‘Oh, you’re from the North Island’. This was in the eighties and I’ve never heard it used on any later visits to Tasmania.

Leave a Comment

Featured Articles